Investing in Climate Change

By Chance Murray

The evidence supporting climate change continues to rise, and the implications on environments and economics are too significant to ignore, according to Hans-Peter Plag, Director and Professor, Old Dominion University, Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute.

“Currently, emissions from worldwide annual energy usage is comparable to the Lake Toba explosion that occurred nearly 100,000 years ago,” Plag said.

Compared to the former 100,000 years, the past 100 years have had climate metrics change drastically. Carbon Dioxide levels have risen, coastal zones have moved, and water temperatures have risen. Data suggests that a 1 degree celsius increase in global temperature equates to a 25 meter rise in sea level.

The implications of Plag’s research are broad. City planners and environmentalists can take action to ensure coastal zones have adequate infrastructure and are free of waste and pollution that will wash into the ocean. Real estate developers can invest in properties outside exposed coastal zones or utilize mobile components that are capable of adapting to rising sea levels.

“It’s time to divest of exposed coastal areas,” Plag said. “Or, if you build in the coastal zone, invest in mobile infrastructure that can relocate with rising water levels.”

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